Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just Dropping By

These are some of the best blogs out there...and some of the most devoted Entrecard member bloggers who deserve my thanks for visiting my site the most often in February.

Take a few minutes, and check out the following amazingly witty, cool and "with it" blogs:

1. Lola's Diner
2. Nut in a Nutshell

Break The Bank or Break Your Penis? I Say Go For Broke

This is a public service announcement to all my male readers. I know there are at least four. It's time for me to give back to you, because that is my motto, "Give back", as you well know, and because if I'm not about giving back, I'm no better than a macaroni and cheese loaf sandwich on white bread.

This is also not the kind of post you should be reading if you are under the age of 18, or find anything at all offensive. Just warning you. This post is about the male genitalia in all its godforsaken glory.

So, male readers, you know that appendage you have that we women do not have, and do not envy, desire, or think about, ever, unless it's completely covered? Yes, I'm talking about the penis.

The penis is a lovely organ. The term "lovely", of course, is being used very loosely in this case.

I will, however, admit that the flesh wand is indeed an amazing piece of machinery, full of little tricks up its sleeve. Just when you think you've seen it all, out it comes with yet another little surprise!

Today, I thought I'd discuss the broken penis. Until I saw a recent episode of Grey's Anatomy, where McSteamy and Lexie Grey get it on, I did not know that a man dowel could be fractured. Who knew? Not me!

Apparently, after this episode aired, "broken penis" and "penile fracture" were top Google searches. I guess McSteamy's cries scared quite a few strapping, robust and studlike humans of the masculine sort all across the globe.

What actually happens isn't really a "break", per se. It's more like a tear, since the penile member does not possess any actual bones, despite the misnomer "boner" we've all heard of at one time or another. What tears are the ligaments surrounding the erect penile structure, when too much force or pressure is applied. Use your imagination here.

Apparently, about 1,000 jimmies are broken every year. Who knew?!

If you happen to have this unfortunate event occur to your snausage, get ye to an emergency room quickly. It used to be that all doctors would prescribe would be ice packs to your willy, and copious amounts of painkillers and vodka tonics. However, nowadays, with the progression of medicine as it relates to schlong breakage, medical professionals indicate that surgery to repair said breakage is your best route to prolonged and continued success with your tube steak. Otherwise, you may end up with impotence or, worse yet, the dreaded curved banana hose.

To ease your mind, I'd like to end this public service message by letting you know that, although the periscope can "break", it will not fall off. That is, unless you're married to Lorena Bobbitt, and then, you're on your own.
I hear Lorena has gotten into the jewelry industry. She even has an Etsy shop.

Over and out. And you're welcome.

On a much more sombre note, my dear friend's wife passed away this morning. I know she's in a better place now. I'm glad it was quick and painless. All my energy will now be going to making sure my friend gets through the next few days and weeks in one piece.
RIP Jeri.

Friday, February 27, 2009

How To Tackle A Poodle

As I've mentioned in the past, our dog, Gryphon, likes to hump people.

This is Gryphon.

Unassuming, wouldn't you say? Some would even say he's teddy bear-like, cuddly even. And ever since we resolved his excess gas issue, sometimes yes, we cuddle with him.

Well, leave him alone with someone he's just met or doesn't know all too well, or someone smaller than he is, and his demeanor changes. Let's just say that he, ummm, he likes to get intimate. Doggy-style.

Lots of dogs do this, I know. It's not at all about sex, if you're wondering. It's all about dominance. As stated in an article I found devoted to dogs and humping, "Like us, domestic dogs relate to us as members of their family. In other words, they think of us as members of their dog pack. If and when a dog humps you or another human being, they are essentially communicating the fact that they think they are dominant to you." As you can see, I have done hours and hours of research on the subject, so I know.

So, the other day, the kids were tackling one another on the living room floor, as kids often do. They were running around, jumping, laughing, and rolling around, despite me screeching at them to go run the ten loads of laundry we had and wash the floors. They would have none of that. Nay. They just kept right on playing. Brats.

Gryphon, being a true kid at heart, wanted to get in on the action. Can you blame him? However, not having opposable thumbs, or even fingers for that matter, he sometimes feels a little left out. So, he often waits for the most opportune moment, and then he goes for it. You've got to give him credit for his wily ways, his determination, his skill and his pure belief that he too is human.

So, when he had the chance, he took it. "Dennis" was on the floor, and Gryphon latched onto him, as only a standard poodle can, and began the mating ritual dominance stance, shall we call it.

Mr. Handsome, who was lying prostrate on the loveseat, would have none of it. He moved faster than I've seen him move since someone told him Canadian Tire was having a sale on wrenches, and tackled Gryphon to the floor in one fell swoop, akin to Jack Krauser in Resident Evil 4.

In case you're wondering, Krauser is the guy on top. Note the look of determination on his face. Disregard the blood stain on his cheek, as well as the knife and beret. Mr. Handsome didn't bleed, and his knife was safely tucked away in his shirt pocket. The beret...Mr. Handsome is much too manly to don one of those suckers.

Mr. Handsome had the shoulder action going and everything as he launched himself across the room and onto Gryphon's back, bringing him down to the floor with the blink of an eye. Gryphon didn't know what hit him. The look on his face said it all.

Do you ever wonder how a dog's face actually changes? They actually change their facial features to express different moods and emotions. Some days, I just watch Gryphon's face change from happy to sad to hungry to happy to sad to hungry... and then I wipe the drool from the corner of my mouth and off the couch cushions.

If there's one thing I learned from this, it's that Mr. Handsome can really move when he wants to.

Your Friday Night Partay No. 8!

Apache-An Old Rock Music Video from 70's - Click here for funny video clips

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Enter At Your Own Risk -- HazMat Suit Required

It all began with the dishwasher.

It was brand new. We replaced it soon after moving into our home 10 1/2 years ago. And, yes, we used it a lot. We had two little children at the time, and I was running a daycare out of my home as well. I probably did three loads of dishes a day.

But, please tell me, why would a brand new dishwasher start rusting? That's right. There is no reason. None. Because let me tell you, dishwashers built in the 1950s, nay! even the 1970s, did not rust. Ever. There would come a time when you'd have to physically put the machine to its death because it would refuse to die on its own.

Such is not the case with newer appliances, it seems. Nowadays, appliances are made to look good. Period. Otherwise, they suck the big wadong. And did I just say "look good"? I take that back, because they don't look good. Not at all. They only look good until you unpack them and start using them. Then, you wake up one morning, and they look like crap.

Let's just say our dishwasher now looks like it should not work. Oh, it still works, but barely. And it looks worse -- like we found it in a garbage heap somewhere and decided, "Hey! This looks great! We could still get at least 10 years out of this sucker! Let's bring it home with us!" Yes, we are those people you stay away from and only look at with eyes averted, who walk around the neighbourhood with a shopping cart filled to the brim with other people's garbage. Not that I'm judging anyone.

After the rusting began, little parts inside the dishwasher began to disintegrate and slowly fall off, as if it had leprosy. First it was something like this falling to the floor after an especially heavy duty wash/rinse cycle:

Then, this came out in my hand. To me, it looks pretty much integral to the whole dishwashing mechanism.

Oh, and then this came flying out:

But, instead of trying to figure out where the piece belonged, and then fixing it, we'd place it gingerly on the windowsill, and hope that it would somehow find its way back on its very own. Or we'd throw it out. So, now we have probably half a dishwasher, but it still works. The dishes aren't always clean, but clean enough. We're not picky.

We actually currently don't use the dishwasher at all because about a month-and-a-half ago, we noticed water leaking into the basement, right below where the dishwasher sits. We can't get at the spot to figure out what's wrong without actually moving the dishwasher out and looking, and...well, if you know us, you know that just won't happen in this household. Not anytime soon, anyway.

So, now the dishwasher sits, rusty and ugly, and silent, smack dab in the middle of our kitchen. And our special dog, Gryphon, now licks the plates clean. Why else would we have a dog?

And I won't even tell you about the floor in that room. Let's just say I go through five pairs of socks a week walking on that damn cheap crap linoleum. The kitchen is a veritable torture chamber.

Then...the toilet seat cover in the upstairs bathroom cracked. I believe one of the kids (or maybe both?) was doing a Stomp dance on it. So, it cracked in half, sort of, and not neatly either. Big jagged edges, probably quite dangerous. Have we fixed it, you ask? Did we replace it? I think you know the answer to that.

It's been probably four months. At least. Probably more like ten.

Meanwhile, both closet doors in our bedroom, our haven of heaven, have fallen off their tracks and have slowly made their way inwards, into the closet, and are still in there, leaning against our clothing. It makes for very difficult organizing, which is probably why our bedroom looks the way it does. That, and the fact that we are very lazy and would rather just throw our clothes pell mell and step on them instead of actually taking out a hanger or a drawer and placing the clothing within. I love saying 'pell mell'. It's a righteous saying. Rolls off the tongue. Says it all. No questions left unanswered with that statement.

Then we're back to the kitchen. The fridge begins to deteriorate. Shelves begin cracking, ledges begin falling, lights begin flickering. We need the exorcist badly.

Well, and then the microwave dies. Just that. Dies. Blat. Gone. Dead. No reason. And we all know the Goddess needs her microwave. Truth be told, Mr. Handsome needs his microwave more than the Goddess. You see, he needs his coffee hot. And I mean hot. Beyond boiled boiling. Crazy hot. So we soon had a new microwave, which Mr. Handsome actually bought me for my birthday, which I thought was very sweet.
It even has a Turbo Boost Inversion Defroster button on it, and no one in our house really knows what it means, except that it seems to defrost meat really well and sounds very cool when you say it fast and with authority, especially with a Scottish accent. Just imagine Scotty in the old, beloved Star Trek. "Errr, Captain, thee Turrbo Boost Inverrsion Defrrosterr would na turrrn on. What should we dooooo?"

Then, the drawer under the microwave falls apart. Nails clang to the floor, the end of the drawer falls off, and we are left with an open-ended drawer, whereby if you clench your buttocks just a tad and lean down, you can see all the ladles, mixing spoons and other kitchen paraphernalia happily sitting there. Yeah, very classy. It actually came in handy because I could do butt crunches while simultaneously looking for the salad tongs. Kill two birds with one stone, is my motto.

A couple of months later, our pot drawer dies. So, out it comes and under the kitchen table it goes. Pots all tumbled inside it, all under the table. And there it sat, for say three months, which was actually quite convenient, I must say, because you could just simply look down and see the pot and lid you needed, instead of having to pull open the drawer, and actually work for it.

Then one day not too very long ago, Mr. Handsome had a flit of energy, a moment of pure determination, and fixed the two drawers like a pro. I've never been a prouder wife.

This is how we live. Can you say quarantine?

I don't know why we live this way, but we do. I am now thinking that perhaps we need help. It's really very embarrassing.
I guess what I'm trying to figure out is, do other people live this way, or is it just us? And if it's just us, what is it? I have a feeling I know the answer. It is just us, isn't it?

P.S. Forgot...the front door lock never works properly, we have windows that need new screens (for like the past eight years), and the entire house needs painting. OK, I'm done. For now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let Me Repeat -- Wombs Are Not Clown Cars: Oh Nadya

I've avoided talking about Nadya Suleman and her 14 children for obvious reasons. This topic has been talked to death, and back to life again about 14 times, I would estimate. So, I had decided that nope, I would ignore it, pretend it didn't exist, wasn't important in my world, and discuss things that really matter, like whether or not I actually do put tomato soup in my meatloaf, or why Mr. Handsome wears a spelunker headlamp to bed.

But it's gotten the best of me, this Suleman character. I can't stand it anymore. I am breaking under the pressure of it all. And so I must discuss it, as is my duty as your Blogging Goddess. And besides, Dooce is talking about it. So, if the Almighty Dooce must discuss the issue, so must the Blogging Goddess. Such is the law.

Just in case you've been living in a cold cave in the middle of Zanzibar, the woman above is Nadya Suleman. That is, Nadya and her extremely rotund and egg-like, painful-looking belly, about one week before she popped out eight little premature, squawling humanlings.

Now, before I even get started, I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not know Nadya. Never met her and her lips. Not even close. So, really, I cannot judge this woman. But I will nonetheless, because if that's not my goal in life, I don't know what is. Needless to say, what I am going to say has probably already been said at least 1 gagillion times, so you may just want to skip over this entire post. Whatev.

First of all, I do not think Nadya having 14 children is wrong. Not at all.

What I do think is questionable is Nadya's decision to have 14 children, based on what we know about her and her lifestyle. The fact that she does not work, cannot afford the six she already had before the octuplets came, and lives with her mom is indication enough to me. She lives on less than $500 per month of food stamps, for god's sake.
People, what was she thinking?

I have the same issue with people who have more children than they can knowingly afford, and just assume it's okay because society will take care of all of them. Meanwhile, they go out and buy their cigarettes, watch their satellite tv, get take-out, and laugh at the rest of us who work our buns off trying to make ends meet, as well as pay for their bills. And it doesn't matter that the majority of the population doesn't know or even care where their hard-earned money goes in the end. What does matter is that Nadya consciously made this decision, and very very selfishly, I might add, to the obvious detriment of her children and everyone around her.
I'm not talking about "accidents" -- or shall we call them "surprises" because that is much more politically correct, although much more inaccurate -- because as we all know, accidents happen to the best of us.

I guess that's what I am having the biggest problem with in this whole drama. That, and the unyielding feeling that Nadya is doing this for money, not out of love. She hasn't come right out and said this (or has she?), but I get the sneaking suspicion this is very much behind the scenes. Oh, you know, book deals, a movie. Blahblahblah. I think she's had this all thought out.
She even has a website that says nothing about her or her family. There are only two links on her website: one for comments, the other for donations.

Come to think of it, I'd actually buy a book about how she got her lips to look like that. And then do whatever I had to do to NOT have that happen to me. I'd rather have my lips shrink with age like heated Saran wrap, thank you very much.

I don't think these children were conceived out of love for children, or even for the love of raising children and giving them love. I believe she's in love with the idea of having children. Very different scenario, and very dangerous on so many levels.

And while I'm at it, I also think she's loving the limelight. Kind of Britney Spearsish. I think she's lapping up the publicity, wants to be famous, and the only trick she had up her sleeve to get her there was by opening up her legs. Harsh, but true. Because really, what other talent does she have? Besides having really big, swollen and unnatural lips, that is.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

At A Loss For Words

I am at such a loss for words today, which for those of you who know me, know that is a very rare occurrence indeed.

My heart goes out to one of my best friends who is losing his wife. She is losing her fight, and it's been a long fight. This moment has been in the background of all our minds for a few years now, but it's still a huge shock and a massive feeling of loss and disaster just the same.

I won't go into details about his situation because it's not my place here. I just wanted to say that this friend of mine is one my dearest and oldest friends. And at this moment, I feel so lost, so powerless, so useless. And I wish I could just make it all good again for him. Because if there's one person in this world who deserves that, it's him.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Unfollowing

Oh my gosh. I am so depressed.

I just lost 8 followers. EIGHT FOLLOWERS! Within the past five minutes. Has anyone else had this happen to them? Or is it just me? Please tell me it's not just me.

What is going on? Please, someone, enlighten me! I don't understand.

What did I say? What did I do? As if I don't already have enough of a low self-esteem.

Was it the photo of me with a tissue stuffed up my left nostril? Because if it was, I apologize profusely. Although I'm just trying to be real, and that's what I really was doing on the weekend. Honest. And if I can't be honest, what is there? Nothing. There is nothing.

So, please, someone, help me out here. I feel so unloved.


You love me! You do love me!

Thank you for all your kind and wise words of support, love, and explanation, helping me to understand the Blogger disaster situation that has come upon us this fine day.

I will now take a deep breath and relax, knowing that people do still like me, regardless of how many tissues I have stuffed up my nasal passages, and regardless of the fact that I show my ass crack to the world.

Thank you!

And A Good Time Was Had By All, Including The Left Nostril

There was much rejoicing, and presents, and boy-crazy shenanigans...

...while his mother sat, enthralled by all around her, as the multitude of tissues continued to soak up all the excess mucus from her left nasal passage.

Life of the party.
And a good time was had by all. Good night.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Miracle

Our little baby is turning 11 tomorrow. I can hardly believe it.

It was just yesterday that he was a wee baby...

It was not that long ago that we found out our little baby had cancer, and that our lives would never be the same.

It was hard to imagine at that time that he would be going to kindergarten...And now our baby is going to be 11 years old.


Happy Birthday, Chicken Lips.

Your Friday Night Partay No. 7!

Boney M - Daddy Cool - Watch more amazing videos here

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama Doesn't Care That I'm Sick -- How Will He Save The World?

This is a pity post. If you cannot or will not pity me, feel sorry for me, or send me flowers, please do not read this post.

I am so sick I think I'm gonna die. My nose is stuffed up, even extra-strength, double duty Otrivin isn't doing the trick. My head is about to explode,

my eyes are burning somethin' fierce, and all I have energy for is typing this sentence and moaning softly.

Help. Me.

I am usually a good sickie, but today? Please. Don't even ask.

All day long at work, I sat there filing very important files, meanwhile making sure my left nostril did not drip snot all over the very important papers I was filing. I also sneezed a lot, but always into my sleeve, because that is the proper and sanitary thing to do. I must have used up the equivalent of three boxes of Kleenex, except they had no Kleenex at this office, so I ended up using really rough and cheap toilet paper and paper towel, which ended up making my usually very cute nose look and feel like this:

Now, I ask you, why would my left nostril be draining so consistently all day long? Not the right one. Just the left. What the hell.

Then...then it was time to leave, and I got stuck in traffic up to my hoo ha because Obama was in town. Yup. That's right. The entire Ottawa police force was busy blocking roads, watching traffic and generally looking really official because Obama apparently needs lots of security and they had to close down most major arteries in town, and right at rush hour, which meant that my usual 20-minute drive home took 1.5 hours. That's 90 minutes.

They wouldn't open the roads up again until Barack's plane lifted. Very official and serious security stuff.

So, everyone on the roads was getting all pissed off and stuff, but still acting pretty polite, because we're Canadians. No guns here. The worst we do is honk our horns loudly and sometimes more than once. And then we apologize. And we almost always say please and thank you.

Why they thought they needed the entire police force to protect Barack's butt is beyond me. Most of us don't even own guns, let alone know how to use them. And even if we did, we're too damn nice to. Nice. I hate that word.

We might, however, flog him with a Beavertail. Thank god for that bulletproof glass, eh.

So, I finally get home and I finally sit down and close my eyes, but I'm hungry, because I haven't eaten much today because I haven't been feeling well. It's Mr. Handsome's turn to cook dinner, but he isn't home yet, because he has taken "Dennis" to his swimming lesson because I was still on the damn roadway trying to get home. Taking Dennis to his lesson is usually my job. So, by the time Mr. Handsome got home and got dinner made, it was really really late, which made me a Mrs. Cranky Pants, so I started yelling at "Milly" because she wanted me to drive her to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients for her brother's birthday cake, and I accused her of not being very empathetic toward her very ill and dying mother, and did she realize she had another parent sitting right there across from her, doing absolutely nothing and feeling a helluva lot better than I am?????!!!

So, tomorrow should be interesting. I should stay in bed, but I will dutifully go to work, because I am a good little Worker Bee, and because I am sick and tired of "some" people who roll their eyes at me and sigh loudly whenever I proclaim that I'm not feeling very well. So, somehow, by going into work, I will be proving a point. Somehow. I'll tell you how when I figure it out.

Good night.

P.S. This "certain someone" just made me a hot tea after I told her, angrily, that she forgot to make me a tea. Now who feels like an idiot? Sorry, Milly.

I'll Save You!

So, I was contacted yesterday about getting chosen to be one of only approximately 4,013 applicants for a job that I kind of covet, kind of not. As far as I'm concerned, I've bagged it.

This is just the first step in a long process to get said job as an emergency dispatcher. You can stop laughing now. Thank you.

In order to narrow down their choices for eventual interviews, you must first go through three energy-draining, stress-inducing, armpit-chafing tests.

The first test: the typing test. You must be able to type at least 35 words a minute. I can type approximately 82 words per minute, give or take a word. So, obviously, I've got that cat in the bag before you can say "Jack Sprat". How's that for mixing similes?

The second test: the language test. Being an Ontarian who lives close to the Quebec border, where they speak a lot of very bad French, one must be able to speak both "official" languages, those being English and French, or as the Quebecois demand, le Francais and English. I am very afraid of the language test. Apparently, it's done over the phone by some company that conducts -- yes, language tests. I am guessing they have a conversation with you to see how much you can understand and say without looking like a complete and utter fool. I went through French Immersion for eight years, from Grade 7 to Grade 13, so as far as I'm concerned, I should be bilingual enough. Oops, that's only seven years. Guess I wouldn't pass a math test if that was part of this process! heh heh

Anyway, I haven't used a lot of my French in the past, say, 25 years, so let's just say it's a little brittle, a little rough around the edges. Let's put it this way: I sound like a twit. "Je ner said pas comment dire ca." Roughly translated: "I don't know how to say that." So, we shall see...I'll let you know.

The third test is a computer test, to determine how good you are at screwing up multi-tasking on the computer. It apparently takes 1.5 hours to complete. What in heaven's name could they give you to do that would take that much time to complete? Please enlighten me, world. In that time, I could wash all the dishes in the house, do 5 loads of laundry, iron all Mr. Handsome's shirts, take Gryphon for an hour-long walk, and give birth to twins.

All this before the actual interview.

And all this for what?

For this:

and this:

and this:

oh, and this:

Please pray for me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine's Day Was Nauseating

So what did we do for Valentine's Day, you ask? Not a helluva lot.

Why not, you ask?

Well, because we are extremely lazy people who would rather sit on our duffs all day long watching the children do battle with one another, and scream things like, "I hate you!" "No, I hate YOU!!".

We are the kind of people who were not able to decide what to do. The fact that "Milly" had waterpolo made the decision-making process that much more difficult and prolonged.

You see, with waterpolo comes the drive to and from waterpolo, as well as the time constraint involved with said waterpolo. What we thought might be fun would be going out for dinner and a movie. However, Mr. Handsome thought that might be boring. As well, he pointed out that it wouldn't work very well, with Milly's waterpolo game and all.

I was feeling really rotten that day too. What else is new, you ask? I ask myself this question every single day. But, enough about me.

I then suggested, rather wanly too, I might add, since I was feeling rather weak and unsteady, that maybe we could go out Sunday evening instead. But no, Mr. Handsome would have none of that. He actually said that. "I will have none of that, missy!" he said to me, wagging his index finger in that manly way he has that just turns me all into mush and makes me want to jump him.

So, being the good and obedient wife that I am, we did as he desired. First, we dropped Milly off at her waterpolo game. Then, we drove down to the old part of town, the "Byward Market" as it's called, parked the car in the dark nearby the prostitutes' corner, and started walking. Where? We didn't know. All we knew is we were together and that's all that mattered.

Hand-in-hand we walked, until we could no longer feel our hands. It's cold here in February.

So, after perusing about 1,034 different restaurants, bars, hang-outs and dark stairwells, we ended up at this cute little place called "Oh So Good!". They only serve desserts and special teas and coffees here, which we thought would be just perfect. So in we went.

It was a strange place, with wood walls, very dramatic art hanging here and there, and rickety plastic tables and chairs. And the servers did not have good clothing sense. The lone male waiter had pants that hung below his knees, and he waddled like he had just done a shadoodie in his pantaloons, and a couple of the female servers had skirts that did not hide a thing, and tops that rode halfway up to Ireland. But I digress yet again.

What it was lacking in decor, it more than made up for in food. Oh my god, the food. The cakes, the tarts, the tortes, the pies...I was definitely in heaven. And Mr. Handsome knew it. Because if there's one way to my heart, it's with a visit to the Market and a nice slice of cheesecake.

Which is what I had. It looked something like this, but the taste...out of this world. Psychedelic, man. Groovy even. I chose the caramel pecan cheesecake, along with a chai tea latte. Both very good choices, I must say. I don't remember what Mr. Handsome ordered. I do remember mine was better.

About halfway through this amazing moment in time with my husband, my love, my Valentine, I became very nauseated. I don't think it was the company, or the food. It was just me, being sick again. Nothing new. So, I went to the bathroom, which was very untidy and quite dirty, and hoped that if I was going to be sick, it would be quick and dirty, because I still had cheesecake and latte waiting for me.

I peed instead. That's it. My body would not co-operate. Instead, it laughed at me. Openly. Ridiculed me.

I tripped back to our table, where Mr. Handsome was playing with the candle, melting wax onto the table to see what happened (do you see, I can't leave him alone for a minute!). And I finished my cheesecake and my latte because when it comes to cheesecakes and lattes, I am a woman on a desert island, and nothing will stop me. Not even extreme nausea and bad lower abdominal cramping and gases trying to escape from my nethers.

Then, I quickly asked Mr. Handsome if we could leave. I needed air. He didn't want to leave because it would mean going back out in the dark, cold night, and Mr. Handsome is quite delicate, and what were we going to do for an extra half hour while we waited for Milly's waterpolo game to end and for Milly to shower, wash and deep condition her hair, and meet us outside?

What did we do, you ask? We walked back to the car, and we drove to the university where her game was, and we sat in a cold, dark car, listening to old songs on the radio, our seats tilted back, our breath fogging up the windows.

Milly eventually came out and got in the car, and we went home.

But no, that's not the end of our amazing Valentine's extravaganza! No. There's more. I know, I know. You can't take it. Well, you can. And you will.

Once Milly went to bed, Mr. Handsome and I decided it would be great to top off the day with a nice romantic movie. So, we watched Troy.


Well, it's sort of romantic, in a violent, loud sort of way. And although I'm not partial to Brad Pitt, he sure looked good to me in this here movie. Sweat. Muscles. Need I say more?

And it doesn't matter anyway, because I only watched about half an hour of it before the Benadryl and Tylenol kicked in and I was doing this

all over Mr. Handsome's sweatpants, so I had to call it a night and go to bed.

But not before Mr. Handsome so generously gave me the most wonderful, most dainty, most beautiful dark chocolate heart-shaped box filled with amazing chocolate truffles, the words "Forever Yours" painted on the the top in gold flakes. Very tasteful, just like Mr. Handsome. And I gave him some lesser quality chocolates (but still quite tasty), a box of fake rose buds that you throw in the bath and they're supposed to turn into soapy petals of bath happiness, and a really cool card.

Such was our Valentine's Day. No jetting off to Hawaii for the weekend. No smashing lobster and steak dinner and ballroom dancing. Just us. And that's all we need. That's all we'll ever need.

Now I just need to get rid of the nausea.

I Love Sudokus. Honest! -- Review

I don't think I've ever heard someone say they "love" doing Sudokus -- you know, that number game that is similar to a crossword puzzle, except with numbers. Well, I'm here to announce to you that I love doing Sudokus.

No, I am not lying. I'm not even exaggerating. I find them exhilirating, thought-provoking, sometimes brain-numbing, but always fun. Except, that is, when I find I've put in the wrong number, but I don't quite know where, so I have to erase the entire puzzle and start from scratch. Then I just get very upset and put it away for a few days.

I recently had the opportunity from
Mom Fuse to review a very cool game: an electronic Sudoku, by Nikoli. The Nikoli Handheld Sudoku, by Franklin, is small enough to take along on a car trip, when the thought of listening to the kiddies squabbling in the backseat for three hours is more than you can bear. It runs on batteries, which are included.

The Sudoku Handheld fits nicely into the palm of your hand, and is easy to use. Just flick a switch, and it turns on. The goal of the game: complete the empty squares so that the digits 1 through 9 appear only once in every row, column and block, both vertically and horizontally. There are three skill levels, as well as a Sudoku puzzle builder and solver built into this little baby.

I tried the game myself, and also had my daughter, age 13, try it out. Bear in mind that they are not as fond of Sudokus as I am to begin with.

My daughter spent some time on it, but got frustrated after a while because she is accustomed to being able to write trial numbers in some of the boxes in her process of ultimately figuring out the numbers. She is also not one who is truly known for her patience.

I tried it out with somewhat better success, although I have to admit I would have enjoyed it more if I was able to write in the little trial numbers as well. It's just easier that way. I played for quite awhile and found it very enjoyable. I liked its compactibility, its transportability, and the fact that there are millions of puzzle variations in this one little game.

The only real drawback I could see to the whole thing was that it was a bit difficult to see the screen. A better backlight might make it easier to view.

Other than that, it's a very fun puzzle game, good for the old noodle, and wonderful for trips in the car or on the plane, or at the cottage for a rainy day. It's a great game for the kids when you don't want them watching yet another video or movie, and would rather they do something that makes them think for a change!
Thank you to Mom Fuse and Franklin for giving me the opportunity to review this very cool game!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Family Day At The Movies

It was Family Day in Ontario yesterday (President's Day in the U.S.). This is only the second year Ontario has celebrated Family Day. Before that, we had no holidays in February, which meant the month was full of doom, gloom, dirty snow, despair and a huge loss of libido. Just ask Mr. Handsome. February has never been an easy month.

That is, until the pronouncement of Family Day by ye gods in provincial government. Now we look forward to the second month of the year because it means an extra day off, except for federal government employees. They don't fall under provincial jurisdiction, so they have to work while the rest of us loll about in our pajamas all day long, drinking margaritas and watching The Duggars preach to their have more and their children.

Mr. Handsome works for the federal government, so he doesn't normally get the day off. Last year, he worked while the children and I made snow cones, went to museums and then napped. So, this year, he wisely decided to take the day off, which he honestly deserved since he has put in so many extra hours these past few months, it's a wonder I still remember what the lad looks like. I also desperately needed him to massage my feet and make me a coffee, so he came in quite handy this morning when I finally woke up.

So, I got all excited, because I thought we could finally do something together, as in, like a family, since it was Family Day and all.

I am a planner, I need to know what's going to happen, when it's going to happen, how, and why, and where. It's quite irritating to many people, I'm sure. But I don't care, because if it's not about me, who is it about? Exactly my point.

So, here I was on Sunday (and for the past week beforehand), asking Mr. Handsome what he thought we should do on Family Day. His ideas varied a bit, from cleaning the house, to cleaning the bathrooms, to washing the floors, to shovelling the driveway. Very imaginative and creative fellow. And I would retort, "But, that's not what we do on a holiday!" To which Mr. Handsome replied, "We don't do that on any day, dear."

Finally, on Sunday, he said, "I don't know, maybe a movie?"

Holy smokes. Will wonders never cease? A movie. A MOVIE!

Yes, a movie.

So, yesterday, we decided that yes, maybe we could all go to a movie. But, of course, we had to find something that was early enough in the day, but not too early, and something that was interesting enough for the adults to watch, yet something the children could see without getting the Children's Aid Society involved (again).

Well, that in itself took another lifetime to figure out. We perused the movie listings, humming and hawing over every damn movie playing in the city. Confessions of a Shopaholic? Nah. Too girly. It would have been perfect for "Milly" and I, but for the guys? Yeah, right. NOT. Although, now that I think about it, what has Mr. Handsome got to say about this? The guy wears a murse.
How about Billu Barber, I asked, excitement in my voice. It's a comedy, Indian, and was rated for general viewing. No way, no how, the family stated. What in the hell is Billu Barber? Mr. Handsome asked, after realizing I was actually serious. Well, I answered patiently, how will we know unless we go see it?

OK, so we go on and on, through the movies...He's Just Not That Into You, a big no. Pink Panther 2: Mr. Handsome said it was supposed to suck the big wadong. Push, Taken and Underworld were for older audiences. No as well to Hotel for Dogs and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

So, what did we end up seeing? Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Yes, that's right. The movie with Kevin James from The King of Queens sitcom, where he plays an overweight, underachieving mall security officer. Well, before I could utter the "n" in "No way", both "Dennis" and "Milly" shouted that they both desperately wanted to see this shit movie. Mr. Handsome and I looked at each other, desperate to say no to them, but knowing full well we would go ahead and do it because, if we're not amazing parents, then we're dirt. We also had no other options. And we both like Kevin James, so we thought we'd be nice to the children for a slight change in pace.

Mr. Handsome decided he'd ask his mom to come along, since she is usually so busy going to the opera and cultural events and the like, we thought she might want to witness some real art for a change.

So, off we all went. And you know what? We liked it. I actually guffawed quite loudly numerous times. Even Mr. Handsome, who rarely smiles, could be seen laughing throughout the movie. There's something about Kevin James that makes you like him, and he just knows how to make you laugh at him and with him. The kids loved the movie as well. Thank god for that, or we'd never hear the end of it, let me tell you. There's a cute storyline and plot, which keeps you going to the end, although some of it was a bit silly. But, whatever. I'm not a film critic. Or am I?

So, we saw Paul Blart: Mall Cop. And we liked it. Shoot me now.

Got LPs? Eight-Tracks? Then You Need This -- Review

You know, when the Powers That Be decided we no longer needed LPs, I decided to become a hermit.

Of course, I didn't become a hermit, because that would entail moving to an isolated cave somewhere in a wheatfield, and having to kill my own buffalo and sheep, and till my own soil, and I might break a nail or, worse yet, break out into a sweat. Not only that, but it would also mean not being able to visit Starbucks or watch endless episodes of True Beauty because I'd have no cable, let alone an electrical outlet, so that just wasn't going to happen.

So, when I got this little package of goodness in the mail, thanks to Mom Fuse, I jumped for joy. No longer was I going to have to be sad that all my favourite music, most on LPs, would never be listened to again. No longer would I be a total slave to the music gods who deemed LPs the devil, while they introduced CDs, MP3s and all other things digital, leaving the analog to die a quick and sudden death of shame. Never again would I have to re-buy all my fave albums in CD format, spending loads of money I don't have.

This little baby, The Honestech Audio Recorder 2.0, takes cassettes, 8-tracks (remember those?) and LPs, and turns them into audio CDs and MP3 CDs, as well as MP3 files, and WAV files that you can then listen to on your Ipod (which I'd have to borrow from my daughter), or any other portable music player you may have lying around.

So, being the technical wizard I am (NOT), I was honestly a little afraid to try the recorder out. I was afraid I would once again realize how inept I am, and since I already am fully aware of this, I didn't feel I needed more reminding. However, I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised with the ease in which I could use this product when I finally bit the bullet and tried it, and all without building up a sweat or breaking a fingernail!

All I needed to do was directly plug the recorder into a USB port on my computer, and the other end of the cable into the stereo or cassette recorder (I used my turntable on the stereo). That was it! I played the music, and the audio recorder took it and directly translated it to my USB. I don't think you can get anything simpler than that.

With this version of the audio recorder, you can also get a lot fancier with your recording if you really want to. I didn't go this far with it, but I probably will when I have more time. In this advanced mode, you can apparently split the audio track into multiple tracks, adjust the volume, remove static, and a bunch of other nifty things, giving the end result more clarity and more polish.

So, a big YES to the Honestech Audio Recorder 2.0, for anyone who wants to transfer any of their analog music with ease. If I can do it, anyone can!

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